Two Horry County police officers involved in a deadly shooting in Socastee this past summer will not face criminal charges after 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson cleared them of any wrongdoing in the case.
The shooting happened July 8 near the Socastee Swing Bridge and resulted in the death of 49-year-old Wade Phillips, originally from Virginia.
Authorities said Phillips exchanged gunfire with two officers who had responded to a disturbance call on Amberwood Court.
Police responded after a suspect threatened to harm several neighbors in the community, according to a police report.
"Dispatch advised that the suspect had threatened to kill the caller's husband and she was concerned for their safety," the report said.
Officers spoke to neighbors before being confronted in the street by the armed suspect.
In a letter to Special Agent Eric Johnson with the state Law Enforcement Division, Richardson said eyewitness accounts indicated Phillips had been “heavily inebriated” when he threatened his neighbors.
That's when they called the police, and officers David Langlais and Tre’Sean McQueen responded to the scene.
A neighbor told them “look out he is coming [sic]” and pointed to Phillips, who had a loaded rifle, the letter said.
Phillips purportedly said, “Hey, let’s get it on” to the officers. His neighbor saw the officers retreat to cover and Phillips open fire at them, the solicitor wrote.
Police yelled for Phillips to put his gun down, but he continued to advance and fire at them, according to the letter. The officers then returned fire, and Phillips died from his injuries, Richardson wrote.
The officers were not hurt in the shooting. Officials said both of them were placed on paid administrative leave.
The solicitor’s letter stated all evidence shows the two “returned fire as a last resort” and “were acting in self-defense and in defense of the community.”